Ndivhuwo Terrance Tshivhase recently returned to South Africa after a culinary internship in New Orleans in the US. The 27-year-old, who lives in Hartbeespoort and graduated from Capsicum Culinary Studio in Rosebank in 2014, is currently planning on opening his own kitchen to bring the tastes of New Orleans to Gauteng.

He shares some of his experiences as well as a recipe for his delicious Louisiana-inspired chicken.

When did you interest in food and cooking start? I grew helping my grandmother make different things for her spaza shop in Limpopo. I learnt early on the joy of seeing others appreciate what I made.

Tell us about your journey from graduation to where you are today. After I graduated from Capsicum, I found work at a catering company as a junior sous chef which gave me real world experience in the kitchen. I moved to work at a Woolworths Café where I had the chance to move to different franchise locations.

What was the American experience like, where did you work and what did you learn? The experience was surreal for the most part – I struggled for the first couple of weeks to adjust to the way people spoke but I was able to understand them for the most part. I worked at Brennan’s restaurant in New Orleans and it was truly exciting. I learnt such a lot and came away inspired.

What are you doing now? I am currently working on opening my own kitchen where I can make a few of the many recipes that I learnt while in the US. You can find me on Instagram

Would you recommend the food and hospitality business to other young people and why? Yes, but with some caution because it is not for the faint hearted; the hours are long and the kitchen environment can be very high pressured. Maintaining the food quality and standard can be very difficult but once you are there, the kitchen team always feels like a family and you can meet some truly amazing people who become friends.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years’ time? Running my own kitchen and learning from more exceptional industry professionals.

30-minute Crispy Cornmeal Chicken

3t. cornmeal
1t. flour
1t. chilli powder
1tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1t. vegetable oil
1tsp. dried oregano

  • In a small bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, cumin, oregano and salt.
  • Press chicken into mixture as to coat completely.
  • In a nonstick skillet, heat oil at a medium temperature and cook chicken.
  • Turn over every 10-15 mins or until no longer pink inside.
  • Serve with a green side salad

Ndivhuwo Terrance